Development of County youngsters is a major positive

Rob Newton is one of a number of talented youngsters on the County playing staff
Rob Newton is one of a number of talented youngsters on the County playing staff
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One of the outstanding features of Northamptonshire’s recently concluded campaign was the contribution of the younger brigade.

Amongst the solid performances of the senior personnel were a number of excellent efforts by those more relatively wet behind the ears.

David Willey claimed the majority of the headlines, quite rightly given that he will be spending part of his winter in Australia with the England Performance Programme as reward for his work, but there were others who produced the goods and this augurs well for the future, as chief executive David Smith acknowledged.

He said: “Aside from the results, one of the positives from the season was the advancement of our younger players.

“David Willey took a few strides forward, Rob Keogh has developed very well and we saw what the likes of Ben Duckett and David Murphy are capable of.

“That can only be a good thing for the club and they will all be the better for it next season.”

And Smith believes that the future looks bright with others set to put their case forward.

He continued: “You’ve got to remember that there is Rob Newton to come back into the fold.

“He missed half of the season with injury and it will be like signing a new player and there is also Olly Stone who we have high hopes for.

“This shows that we are developing our own players as a club like this has to do and I think they will all have a lot to offer next year.”

Willey’s efforts over the season were further rewarded last night when he was named the Twenty20 player of the year at the Professional Cricketers’ Association Awards at the Roundhouse in London.

Northampton-born Graeme Swann was also a winner, as he was named England’s Test player of the 2013 summer.

The main award of the evening went to Worcerstershire’s Moeen Ali, who was named PCA Player of the Year.